Alert Weekly Help Desk Notes & Support Survey!

Welcome to your weekly Help Desk Notes and Support Survey!

Working Remotely

We’ve seen an increase in questions at the Alert Help Desk this week about available options for working from home. This depends on whether your server is cloud-hosted or on-premise, and your server’s operating system.

Alert can be accessed and run remotely over the internet but to keep your business secure, secure access has to be maintained. There are warnings of increased hacking activity now that so much of the world’s workforce is transitioning, if only temporarily, to working from home.

Things to Consider

  • Your staff must have reliable internet access at home, and they need to have long/complicated passwords BOTH for Alert and on their home routers. No easy or default passwords!!! All Alert users should have complex passwords (8 or more characters, mixed case, preferably with numbers and/or special characters) to make them more difficult to hack.
  • Your staff needs to be running adequate anti-virus protection on the PC or laptop they’re using to work from home. Really, all machines inside the home should be equally protected and all people using those devices need to practice safe internet habits.
  • If children or other family members are streaming entertainment/schoolwork
    while the remote employee is trying to work, their access or speed could be impacted.

For On-Site Servers

For those of you who have servers on your premises, the type of remote access will depend on the server type along with how the local network is set up. You will need to reach out to your local IT company (or your in-house IT department) to discuss remote access options. They might be able to set up options such as Remote Desktop, access using the client software through a VPN, or LogMeIn.

Printing is also a consideration, so if your employee does have to print anything at their house, they will likely need to view to screen and print from there.

For Alert-On-The-Cloud Customers

Please reach out to the Help Desk on the available options. They have the information you need to quickly assist our Cloud customers. (This might be a great time to finally get Alert- on-the-Cloud set up if you’ve been thinking about it! Let us know if you’d like more information.)

Additional Thoughts

With the increased risk of (software) virus infection or ransomware attacks during this time, and the increased exposure of having staff work remotely, please ensure that you have adequate backups and that your IT people can verify to you that they can restore your Alert system from backup. If you are using Alert’s EasyVault (on-line) backup program for your on-premise server, a local backup (redundancy) is always a great idea since it can help potentially speed up the restoration process. If you are hosted on Alert-on-the-Cloud, we are already backing you up!

There is a lot of technology available for making working from home easier and these are great programs to implement now or increase your use of, even after this challenging time passes. Software such as GoToMeeting, Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, GoogleDocs, Dropbox, etc. can make it seem like you are still working in the same brick and mortar building. We at Alert use video conferencing to feel connected since we are spread out across the country. Most laptops have built-in cameras, and video cameras are inexpensive (and only 2 days away via Amazon!) for PCs that don’t. Smartphones work great too and most of the apps we just mentioned will work on your phone. This is a great opportunity to dive in and try out some new technology, and you may find that this challenge moves you forward in your business processes!